Some good friends of ours, and some family members are currently expecting their first kids, and I am so happy for them! Inspired by this lovely news (and even though they're not due anytime soon), I saw the new Art Gallery Knits Nest panels at my local fabric store, Fabric Crush, here in Ottawa, and I knew it would be a match made in heaven. However. I definitely underestimated how something so tiny could be so complex and time consuming (metaphor for motherhood?). Here's the story!
Having never sewn anything for kids/babies before, I decided to go with the Brindille and Twig pattern for this make!
I started with 4 different panels, the two pictured above, as well as a light pink panel with a lamb, and white panel with a fox.
I thought this was also the perfect project to try using my new serger! I mean - a cute little onesie - what a quick, easy project to dip my toe into the world of sergers.
The first night, I spent 6 hours, into the wee hours of the morning trying to get this serger to work. Confidently, I threaded with my white thread initially, but as the pile of scraps grew and grew, and my pleas for help on Instastories became more dire, I switched to the coloured threads to be able to diagnose the issue. Serger 1. Trish 0.
The next night, armed with a furious vengeance I brought my machine over to my mothers house. A serger may have bested me, but I'd like to see it try and take on my mother.
She too, was stumped.
Again, with persistence, I would not be set back. I dusted off my mother's serger, determined to sew these little onesies. And it was when I was threading her serger - I realized my mistake: I was not inserting the threads in the tension disks correctly.
You see, my second tension disk is hidden by the cover - on my moms machine, I could see them both clearly, and realize that I was not, in fact, threading in the right spot.
Weellll. Problem solved, right? So then I triumphantly return to sewing my onesie once I got the tension right and the white threads back in. But then I read the rest of the instructions, and I needed a REGULAR sewing machine to topstitch my bindings.
SO, back down to the basement I go, to dust off my mom's other sewing machine. I manage to dig out a "stretch" needle, and some white-ish thread and back up I came to topstitch that binding.
It was a disaster.
In addition to sewing with a serger, this was a new skill for me too. And my poor onesie looked wrinkly, wonky and not at all like I wanted it to be. I unpicked, and tried again. This time a bit better, but still not great.
So that was the end of the first panel.
After a little red wine, and a good night's rest, I returned to my home the next morning, armed with my regular sewing machine aresenal. I've had that "wonky seam" problem with my mom's machine before when sewing with knits, but I knew how to adjust mine perfectly, so I felt more confident. I also busted out a twin needle for the firs time!! This. was. game changing.
Very much improved right? Persistence makes perfect.
So I started and finished this Bear onesie next. Besides a little hole I need to stitch up under the arm (my serger blade got a little excited), I was so happy with how this one turned out. Especially since the first one was such a fail.
So, confidently I moved onto my next panel, the lamb. I had topstitched everything perfectly, even saving some of the pink on the side of the panel to use for the binding. Everything was going well until I started to serge the sleeves on...
Again, very new to this serger thing, and it was not lying flat on the underside. The back piece got caught, and my excitable serger blade cut a hole right through it. GAH.
The good news: I have extra fabric for the back to cut a new one, and I can still save the panel and probably sleeves. But for self-preservation, I decided to move on at this point.
Next I sewed up this last one, using both pink, tan and blue binding for a more "gender neutral" feel to this onesie (thanks to everyone who voted for grey snaps on insta-stories!)
I'm not sure I'm crazy about the tan- on - tan colouring, but I really love this panel. I was also extra careful sewing with my serger, especially with the sleeves!
For all the backs, I used this tan, "days of the week" fabric that came from the same Nest Art Gallery Knits Collection. Super cute.
I got 300 snaps I think, in all different colours, off Amazon for $25. They work really well, are incredibly easy to attach, and it's fun to match all the different colours.
Snaps are going on everything now.
So there you have it folks.
I do intend to go back and selvage at least the pink panel, if not the white one too, but I think I need a little break from onesies.
I will say, that I am quite proud to have used some new skills with this project. Sewing with my serger as well as a twin needle were firsts for me, and something I plan on using a lot more.
Have you ever had a project like this? What kept you persevering?
This Christmas, I'm so fortunate to have had three whirlwhind days of merriment and gift giving - sharing some special handmade items, and receiving some in return. Here are some handmade highlights of this past Christmas!
Stop 1: A Green Family Christmas
I got to spend Christmas eve with my husband's dad's side of the family for "Death to Dieter's Lasagne" (as good as it sounds), Sticks and Whatcha Mouth! (a hilarious board game where you wear mouth guards).
On Christmas morning, I gifted Chris' brother Nic a Thread Theory Designs Finlayson Sweater in a dark olive/forest green sweater knit.
I loved working with this pattern. I intend to do a full pattern review - but let me just say it is not only fashionable and easy to assemble, but they include lots of special details to give your garment a professional finish. I will definitely be making more sweaters, and more patterns from this company.
In return, Nic also got into the crafting spirit! With the help of his Step-mom and a Cricut, he designed this cute waterbottle that says "Trish the Crafting Queen". He also got me an assorted selection of colour coded buttons - absolutely necesssary for a sewists aresenal.
From Chris' dad and Step-mom Julie, I was incredibly spoiled in the crafting department. Firstly, I've been wanting to try/get into hand embroidery and cross-stitching more, to create some nice wall art for our home. I will have no problem doing so with this hoop set and embroidery floss selection :)
Nice, knit fabrics are hard to come by in Canada, and they gifted me an amazing selection from Girl Charlee in the US. I'm so excited to use these fabrics - they're incredibly soft and there's some amazing patterns. It will go perfectly with the gift from my husband...
Stop 2: Home for a breather
After driving out to Chris' Aunt and Uncles for a delicious breakfast, my husband and I returned home to exchange gifts (and shovel the driveway!)
One of the things I gifted Chris was this self-drafted workout top. Again, I intend to write a detailed post on how I did this, but I based it off of a top that Chris really loves, and used some really nice fabric from Fabrications Ottawa that is moisture-wicking. When he wore it to the gym the first time, someone asked if it was Under-Armour - thanks mystery fan!
I got Chris a few other things (not sewing related), but his gift to me was completely unexpected and incredibly wonderful.
Hours of fun are in my future. #thankgoodnessfortheinstructionaldvd
Stop 3: My fam-jam
Off we went again (still Christmas day folks) to see my family and exchange gifts and stories. As I mentioned, my mom is pretty #craftspirational and my brother Steve got her this book:
I took a peek through and it looked really interesting and modern!
From my parents (mom), I received a hand knit sweater. I love the colour of this yarn - it's a deep teal green, with bits of blue and burgandy - it almost reminds me of peacock feathers. She used the pattern Dragonflies from Jogi Locatelli, with a lovely center panel motif.
We also do a secret santa exchange with this side of the family. While I didn't gift Susie anything handmade, I did receive a lovely book from my sister Kate called "Freehand Fashion" that looks really interesting. It's all about using your own body measurements to create "blocks" - from which you can create your own designs! I would like to start with something simple like a perfect pencil skirt.
Stop 4: Boxing Day
The grand finale of our Christmas tour is filled with tradition: themed-drinks, outdoor activities (this year we opted for snow capture the flag), PeeWee Herman's Christmas special, and a secret santa exchange.
As I talked about in my Sewalicious Gift Guide Blog Post here, my sister-in-law Olga is in her 2nd year of dental school and entering a more professional point in her life. I figured she should have the dress and blazer to match! I turned to my tried and true pattern, the Charleston Dress from Hey June Handmade to create this! I used a metallic/black patterned ponte di roma for the center panels, and plain black ponte for the outsides and the blazer. Additionally, I lengthed both the bodice and skirt significantly (2.5 inches in the bodice, and 3.25 inches in the skirt) to fit her 6' 2'' frame. It fit perfectly! I was so happy how it turned out. She even wore it to dinner.
I also received something equally as thoughtful from my brother-in-law Dominic. He gifted me a handmade jewelry hanging organizer, made by his friend. To pair with it, he also bought a necklace from a local store in the small town he works in that says "Be Brave". So perfect!
And with some (very) full bellies and lots of warm memories we've returned home to sleep! The Christmas whirlwind is one of my favourite times of the year, and I'm so thankful to have such wonderful people to spend it with!
Self-taught sewist, Knitter, Crocheter, and all round crafty person from Ottawa, Canada.